Russian Aquaculture eyes up salmon farming in Far East

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Does Russia’s largest salmon farmer see something in an area deemed unsuitable for aquaculture?

The Primorsky in Russia, located between the Sea of Japan (East Sea) to the east and northeastern China (formerly Manchuria) to the west. Though it is home to Vladivostok, one of Russian Asia’s principal ports, is not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about salmon farming.

Monsoon
According to Brittanica, Primorsky’s climate “is influenced by the Pacific monsoon, with cold winters and almost constant northerly winds. Summer, with its onshore southeast winds, is wet and warm.” But RBC reports that Russian Aquaculture sees something different.

Vityaz, Primorsky, Russia. MAP: Google

The publication writes that the company bought the rights to a 38-hectare site for fish farming site in the bay of Vityaz Hasan district for around EUR 0.9 million.

Russian market
The salmon farmer has a 20 per-cent market share of the 100,000 tonnes-a-year Russian market. Its fish are grown in the Barents Sea, with conditions quite comparable to Finnmark, Norway.

In April, CEO Ilya Sosnov told SalmonBusiness that it had a 35,000 tonnes-a-year target by 2025.

The Primorsky, with its high coast, and difficult to reach overgrown forest is a different beast than the Barents Sea.

The 19th-century Russian naval officer and explorer Vasily Babkin was the first person to map the Primorsky Territory coast between 1862 and 1863. Babkin discovered Gamow bay, which was then renamed in the honour of his steam frigate, the “Vityaz”.

“Vityaz”. PHOTO: Wikipedia

“Too early”
“In the Far East, natural conditions are unfavourable due to the lack of bays and bays sheltered from the waves and winds. There are not many closed bays in the Far East, and the water temperature in the region is not very suitable for salmon cultivation: in winter it is too cold, as a result, production costs increase, and efficiency decreases,” explained Alexander Fomin, Executive Director of the Association of Fish Market Manufacturers and Trade Enterprises to RBC.

Sosnov confirmed the site to SalmonBusiness.

“It’s a test of a new site for salmon farming in the Russian far east. It’s too early to make any assumptions as we are only starting to plan our activities in the new area. Our core farming activities, however, will remain in Murmansk region,” he said.